Police say the man shot dead in a North Vancouver grocery store parking lot in broad daylight on Friday was known to police and had an extensive history of gang ties.
Milad Rahimi, 34, was gunned down outside the Real Canadian Superstore at 333 Seymour Blvd. shortly before 3 p.m. He was taken to hospital but did not survive.
“Mr. Rahimi was known to police and his murder has all the hallmarks of a targeted gang hit,” Integrated Homicide Investigation Team Cpl. Sukhi Dhesi said in a Saturday update.
“We are hoping to speak with Mr. Rahimi’s friends and associates in an effort to build a timeline leading up to the days of this murder.”
According to B.C.’s integrated gang task force, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), Rahini had a decade-long history of gang ties both locally and abroad.
“This is an individual who has had ties to groups historically like the United Nations gang and many other gangs,” CFSEU Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton said.
The UN gang’s former leader Conor D’Monte was captured in Puerto Rico last month, but Houghton cautioned against making any connection between the events at this point.
“(Rahimi did) have some connections to the United Nations gang, which Mr. D’Monte was the leader of at one time, so we’ll be looking at any and all connections,” he said.
“But the reality is it’s far too early to speculate on that, and I would caution anyone making those links without anything definitive.”
According to police the shooter or shooters fled the scene westbound on Mt. Seymour Parkway in a newer-model dark blue Mazda 3 hatchback, which investigators are now trying to locate.
North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Peter DeVries said police had slowed traffic on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in an effort to catch the vehicle, but weren’t able to find it.
DeVries said police understand the very public execution has rattled the community, and that victim services were available to anyone who had witnessed the shooting.
“People may have been there with their children and witnessed this. This is extremely frightening and we know this,” he said.
“This is a peaceful community, this is a grocery store where families bring their kids every day. We were on the last day before spring break – it was extremely dangerous and this kind of violence has to stop.”
Investigators are appealing to anyone who may have video footage taken near the Superstore between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday to contact police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the IHIT Information Line at 1‐877‐551‐IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp‐grc.gc.ca.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the victim’s name, and of former UN gang leader Conor D’Monte.